Gynoug Review (Change eShop) | The life of Nintendo

It’s obvious from the moment you launch Gynoug that this is another release from the same team that recently gave the world Gleylancer again, and presents players, as it does, with the same options using the same interface, just with another Mega Drive shmup running under it all. This is store.

As we mentioned in our second review, the capabilities of Ratalaika Games’ Mega Drive ports are wide, well-executed, and we wish their highly customizable CRT shaders were included as standard with all retro re-releases. As before, it’s easier than ever to tailor the game to your own preferences, with the original pristine experience always by default. Do you want to keep everything the same as always, just without the punitive power-up decay at death? Would endless life help you push past the one boss you’ve always struggled with, or do you just need to be able to rewind a few seconds and regret a stupid mistake? How about full invincibility for those times where you just want to blow things up and enjoy the pixel art? You can access all of these options and more whenever you want, combine them in the way that suits you best at the time, and turn them on and off as you wish.

There is no brand new remixed version of the game this time, though Gynoug does not include an obvious’Wouldn’t it be great if …‘avenue for light rearrangement, we are actually grateful that they did not try to shoehorn into something new for its sake.

The game itself is a side-scrolling shmup known for its brilliantly gruesome meaty industrial tone, with enemies just as likely to be a cluster of screaming faces as they are giant brains leaping on slender legs or a riveted train with a human face. It’s also famous for being tough in the way that many of the very best classic shmups are, where death deprives you of some of your power and the use of your limited number of credits that without ceremonial dumps you back in the beginning of the scene. Attacks can and do come from all sides all the time, in the form of everything from sneaky aquatic attacks from below to high-speed swarms rushing into top speed.

What sets Gynoug apart is how well-balanced it is; there are no ‘gotcha’ moments where death is inevitable because you happened to be at the top instead of at the bottom of the screen before a danger appeared and bosses can be reliably taken down using nothing but skills and reflexes . Unfortunately, it will take most people a little longer to become proficient at Gynoug, as no instructions are included; something of a problem with this shmup in particular as there is nine various power-up related items (and that counts the eight different spells – six offensive and two defensive – as a collectible) as well thaw separate meters next to your current score, all unexplained. It’s not an insurmountable problem for anyone with access to Google, but it’s a problem and it could have been avoided.

Gynoug does not quite have the special extra spark that makes a great game spectacular, yet it is still a unique and thoroughly enjoyable 30-year-old shmup that is able to stand proudly next to anyone else, sold in eShop, and yet another affordable retro re-release that lies in the perfect middle ground between modern convenience and hardcore authenticity.

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